Better than the samyang 12mm f2.0
First some context in why did I buy the lens:
I used to shoot Real State with an a6000 + Samyang 12mm f2.0 - It's a very good kit for the price and I love it's results! No need for AF for RE and the dinamic range is really good! - I shoot single RAW instead of multiple shots + HDR (I like it more natural and I failed to merge HDR so I rage quit it lol)
But, I needed to do video when I was shooting stills as well. And I have an a58. But the widest lens I had was the sal16-50f2.8 SSM - Which is a really good lens but not wide enough for RE. And the camera crops on video when IBIS is ON. So it wasn't even a 16mm...
I've been in search of a wideangle lens for my a58, so I could use my a6000 + samyang 12mm f2.0 for video (a6000 video codec is better than the one of the a58). I was still unsure if I could make handheld videos with my a6000 though (I'm still getting into video and have not bought a stabilizer YET)
After searching a lot, I decided to buy the tokina 11-16, which was really sharp according to reviews, just the edges were quite fuzzy. The Samyang is REALLY sharp so I didn't want to lower my standardts. Heard also bad things of the lens flare, which the samyang handles REALLY well.
Moreover, I've tryed to test tokina vs samyang using the same sensor with an adapter, but couldn't because I missfocused infinity with the adapter at all times even at f7.1 (not sure what happened there hahahaha, I think with that adapter I need to focus a little before the end of the lens to focus to infinity) - But since the a6000 is a newer camera, it should have more image quality. However, I've just checked snapsort database and since it's a 20.1mp sensor(a58) vs 24mp sensor(a6000), Both APSC, the pixel size for the a58 is a little bigger, 18.3 vs 15.3 AND 5176 x 3880 vs 6000 x 4000 - all the same order. - Let's say they're both quite equivalent but a little edge to the a6000 since it has better dinamic range... (just details for the comparassion of lenses)
Just yesterday I shoot my first RE, the tokina was A M A Z I N G - Sharpness was better than the samyang, lens distortion was really good at 11mm. I shoot all at f7.1 to get everything in focus and even edges were fine. Colors were great, but this might be the a58 sensor which has better colors than the a6000. I'm probably never shooting a6000 + samyang ever again! - All shot with tripod, apperture priority, iso 100.
As for landscapes, edges were a little fuzzy as I was told, but better than I expected. The Samyang is better here but nothing to write home about.
Shot the milkyway with it, loved the results as well, but I prefer the samyang f2.0 than the extra 1mm.
The AF is decent, quite noisy, but you usually won't need it. I walked around with it to take some nature shots, some urban, turkeys, and I had a little trouble with the turkeys because they were too close and it wouldn't focus, but I was trying to get really close to them so np at all. As for the nature and urban shots the AF handled pretty well. Quite reliable when I was chosing the AF points and when I let the camera decide for itself it was ok, Just a little slow and noisy. - But you won't actually need it for most paid work. Just leave it at infinity focus and done! - The Samyang is fully MF, but no problem since it's wide angle, I never really needed AF with it.
Furthermore, I haven't tested the AF in video mode enough, it's quite noisy and slow, but it's good enough... You just have to use external mic if you want audio and know your focus speed limitations.
As for the MF, you can set the distance you want and block it from changing! Perfect for my RE work! So I don't EVER need to double check it! I don't double check the focus on the samyang because I use sony and have Focus Peaking, but the Tokina has canon and nikon versions, so lots of points for the tokina for this feature!
Focus ring is really good! I really like the feel of it! Really nice for video! Maybe not as good as the samyang, but I haven't really compared this side by side yet.
The zoom ring is tottaly usable for video! Actually I was trying to uderstand WHY 11-16 2.8 if it could be 11mm f2.0. For photography those extra 5mm on the tele range are quite useless(for my point of view) - But when I zoomed in and out in video I found where the zoom shines, it's almost as good as a PZ lens! Seriously! It's THAT smooth!
It feels quite well built, lighter than the sal16-50 f2.8 SSM. But it's quite large! If you're adapting to a mirrorless body, it will look funny and specially with the adapter. Quite large to pack as well. - The samyang on the other side is really small, lightweight and doesn't feel cheap, but it's not even close as well built as the tokina. So it depends on the user. If you NEED to pack small, the samyang is better. But I prefer the tokina!
As for lens flare, if you like artistic lens flare, this will be quite nice! You'll like it, but if you don't like it, the samyang is pretty damn good! I'm in a love hate relationship with it, because I bought it for RE and lens flare is bad for this, but for artistic shots I prefer the tokina. - In my case, I'll be bringing my a6000 + 12mm to make video when I shoot RE, so if I have a problem with bad lens flare I'll just switch for the old kit again for that very shot. - They say the version 2 of this lens handles flare a little better. Will yet have to try it!
I know the samyang is cheaper! But I think since this is the version 1 of the tokina you might find a good used price tag. Or your mount might not have the samyang lens. I was going for a 12mm f2.0 it there was one for a-mount, but there is not, so I had to buy a different lens. I'm very happy!
I'm going to make a video review on youtube... With samples. But I'm not sure when. I recorded and said tamron the whole video HAHAHAHA.
I'm giving a 4.5 because the lens flare might be bad for you, if you need quiet AF you won't have it and because it has LOTS of CA. You can correct CA in post, but not always! Lightroom only corrects like 80% of it. Which is just enough for me.
If you've got any questions, just ask!
Just a random camera nerd who likes Sony little perks.
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